February 22, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Forward on climate, 2/17/13 DC rally
February 16, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Check the weather – just in time for sunday’s rally, from senators bernie sanders and barbara boxer . . .
backed by sierra club’s mike brune and 350.org’s bill mckibben . . .
a human community living in a mutually beneficial relation
with surrounding earth is a community living in truth
THOMAS BERRY, THE SACRED UNIVERSE, kindle ipad loc 1724/2110
February 8, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Bill McKibben: Ahead of Keystone XL Rally, Fossil Fuel
Divestment Expands Across U.S. Campuses
AARON MATÉ: In recent months, college students at over 200 campuses have begun pushing administrators to divest from fossil fuel companies. On Tuesday, Sterling College in Vermont announced it will soon become the third college in the U.S. to divest its endowment from 200 fossil fuel companies identified by the environmental group 350.org . Unity College in Maine and Hampshire College in Massachusetts were the first two schools to divest.
AMY GOODMAN: Well, for more, we’re joined by 350.org’s founder, Bill McKibben, author of Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet. Last June, he wrote an influential article for Rolling Stone called “Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math.” It went viral.
Welcome back to Democracy Now! You’re just coming from Cooper Union last night, where the place was packed, this historic building where President Lincoln spoke—talking about what?
BILL McKIBBEN: Well, talking about this burgeoning divestment movement. It’s been kind of amazing to watch in the last six weeks as the number of campuses has mushroomed to the point—at 234 campuses now. The Nation said last week that this may be the largest student movement in several decades. In one sense, it came very quickly out of nowhere. In another sense, you know, last year was the hottest year we’ve ever seen in America. We watched the drought, we watched Sandy. I think it’s no surprise, really, that young people are starting to say, “We’ve got to spend another 60, 70 years on this planet. We better do something fast.” And that something means standing up to the fossil fuel industry that’s been in the way of rational change for a quarter-century now.
AMY GOODMAN: What do mean by divest from fossil fuel companies? Which companies are you targeting?
BILL McKIBBEN: We have a list of 200 companies with the largest carbon reserves in the world. The argument that was in that Rolling Stone piece, and in a sort of tour that we did around the country all fall about it, was that these companies now have—this industry has five times as much carbon in its reserves as the most conservative scientists on earth says would be safe to burn. Once you know the numbers, there’s no longer any sort of doubt about how this story comes out: Unless we rewrite the script, if we follow their business plan, the planet tanks.
That’s why there is this upsurge, not only around divestment, but around things like the fight against the Keystone pipeline. You know, we’re going back to Washington for the biggest climate rally probably ever in this country a week from Sunday on the Mall in D.C. It’s—it’s coming up fast, and it’s got to come up fast, this movement, because unlike other problems we face, there’s a time limit on this one. If we don’t get it right soon, then we don’t get it right at all.
AMY GOODMAN: What’s Obama going to do around Keystone XL? He put off the decision, said he would put it off ’til after the election. That’s come. He said now spring. What do you believe will happen?
BILL McKIBBEN: I believe what will happen will depend entirely on what kind of movement we build. My sense of Washington is that when you push, sometimes things happen. It took 1,253 people going to jail, the largest civil disobedience action in 30 years, to slow down this northern portion of the Keystone pipeline. It’s going to take a real effort to stop it. But that real effort is being made by people in all 50 states and by our brothers and sisters in Canada. It’s been exciting to watch over these last 15 months. Something’s building. I’m not certain that it’s building fast enough to catch up with the physics of climate change. But watching those campuses, watching those kids, it’s awfully exciting.
AARON MATÉ: So, Obama has now delayed his decision twice. Do you think that’s linked to these protests that you’ve been involved in?
BILL McKIBBEN: I think everyone—as Van Jones said the other day, this was a done deal 18 months ago. We’ve managed to make it come undone for a while and, in the process, kept 400 million barrels of oil in the ground that would otherwise have gone out. So, that’s, you know, worth going to jail for, but it’s not going to stop global warming. We’ve actually got to start leaving carbon permanently in the ground.
AMY GOODMAN: We only have 10 seconds. What’s the plan for February 17th, this rally in Washington?
BILL McKIBBEN: It’s going to be exciting. And if you go to “forward on climate ,” you’ll find out all the logistical details.
AMY GOODMAN: Bill McKibben, I want to thank you for being with us, co-founder and director of 350.org , author of Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet.
Published on Alternet (http://www.alternet.org)
February 1, 2013 § 1 Comment
November 17, 2012 § Leave a Comment
much present environmental activist, author of SHOCK DOCTRINE, currently co-presenter of DO-THE-MATH TOUR with bill mckibben, this alert canadian always with so much to say beyond those darn good looks
June 4, 2012 § Leave a Comment
. . . A nation stuck on the wrong debate
May 6, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Exposing deniers as the dying corp deperados they are
for the rest of us it’s abundantly clear: together’s found our strength & hope
thank you bill & co!
April 17, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Puts it together for the next 350.org global event 5/5/12
one succinct map to get us going
November 28, 2011 § Leave a Comment
. . . The most feared half
here’s naomi klein sounding off at a recent occupy wall street rally
and here’s one truly ground-breaking article that goes to the heart of the issue
i urge you to READ IT IN FULL
like paul gilding before her in THE GREAT DISRUPTION
this much gifted activist-journalist
isn’t mincing her sweeping, inevitable conclusions
what’s called for is a total paradigm shift in how we live
-rain on those loaded labels of the past!
the article first appeared on the website of the nation magazine
bit on the lengthy side for a web-read
but so vital and so well written just the same
you & i simply must’n pass it up
it is here EXCERPTED FROM ALTERNET
for shemovesme.com . . .
To Conservatives, Climate Change is Trojan Horse to Abolish Capitalism
. . . Claiming that climate change is a plot to steal American freedom is rather tame by Heartland standards. Over the course of this two-day conference, I will learn that Obama’s campaign promise to support locally owned biofuels refineries was really about “green communitarianism,” akin to the “Maoist” scheme to put “a pig iron furnace in everybody’s backyard” (the Cato Institute’s Patrick Michaels). That climate change is “a stalking horse for National Socialism” (former Republican senator and retired astronaut Harrison Schmitt). And that environmentalists are like Aztec priests, sacrificing countless people to appease the gods and change the weather (Marc Morano, editor of the denialists’ go-to website, ClimateDepot.com).
Most of all, however, I will hear versions of the opinion expressed by the county commissioner in the fourth row: that climate change is a Trojan horse designed to abolish capitalism and replace it with some kind of eco-socialism. As conference speaker Larry Bell succinctly puts it in his new book Climate of Corruption, climate change “has little to do with the state of the environment and much to do with shackling capitalism and transforming the American way of life in the interests of global wealth redistribution.”
. . . This is the true purpose of the gathering: providing a forum for die-hard denialists to collect the rhetorical baseball bats with which they will club environmentalists and climate scientists in the weeks and months to come. The talking points first tested here will jam the comment sections beneath every article and YouTube video that contains the phrase “climate change” or “global warming.” They will also exit the mouths of hundreds of right-wing commentators and politicians—from Republican presidential candidates like Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann all the way down to county commissioners like Richard Rothschild. In an interview outside the sessions, Joseph Bast, president of the Heartland Institute, proudly takes credit for “thousands of articles and op-eds and speeches…that were informed by or motivated by somebody attending one of these conferences.”
. . . But now there is a significant cohort of Republicans who care passionately, even obsessively, about climate change—though what they care about is exposing it as a “hoax” being perpetrated by liberals to force them to change their light bulbs, live in Soviet-style tenements and surrender their SUVs. For these right-wingers, opposition to climate change has become as central to their worldview as low taxes, gun ownership and opposition to abortion. Many climate scientists report receiving death threats, as do authors of articles on subjects as seemingly innocuous as energy conservation. (As one letter writer put it to Stan Cox, author of a book critical of air-conditioning, “You can pry my thermostat out of my cold dead hands.”)
. . .But the effects of the right-wing climate conspiracies reach far beyond the Republican Party. The Democrats have mostly gone mute on the subject, not wanting to alienate independents. And the media and culture industries have followed suit.
. . . This uneasy silence has persisted through the end of the hottest decade in recorded history and yet another summer of freak natural disasters and record-breaking heat worldwide. Meanwhile, the fossil fuel industry is rushing to make multibillion-dollar investments in new infrastructure to extract oil, natural gas and coal from some of the dirtiest and highest-risk sources on the continent (the $7 billion Keystone XL pipeline being only the highest-profile example). In the Alberta tar sands, in the Beaufort Sea, in the gas fields of Pennsylvania and the coalfields of Wyoming and Montana, the industry is betting big that the climate movement is as good as dead.
. . . All of this means that the climate movement needs to have one hell of a comeback. For this to happen, the left is going to have to learn from the right. Denialists gained traction by making climate about economics: action will destroy capitalism, they have claimed, killing jobs and sending prices soaring. But at a time when a growing number of people agree with the protesters at Occupy Wall Street, many of whom argue that capitalism-as-usual is itself the cause of lost jobs and debt slavery, there is a unique opportunity to seize the economic terrain from the right. This would require making a persuasive case that the real solutions to the climate crisis are also our best hope of building a much more enlightened economic system—one that closes deep inequalities, strengthens and transforms the public sphere, generates plentiful, dignified work and radically reins in corporate power. It would also require a shift away from the notion that climate action is just one issue on a laundry list of worthy causes vying for progressive attention. Just as climate denialism has become a core identity issue on the right, utterly entwined with defending current systems of power and wealth, the scientific reality of climate change must, for progressives, occupy a central place in a coherent narrative about the perils of unrestrained greed and the need for real alternatives.
. . . The deniers did not decide that climate change is a left-wing conspiracy by uncovering some covert socialist plot. They arrived at this analysis by taking a hard look at what it would take to lower global emissions as drastically and as rapidly as climate science demands. They have concluded that this can be done only by radically reordering our economic and political systems in ways antithetical to their “free market” belief system. As British blogger and Heartland regular James Delingpole has pointed out, “Modern environmentalism successfully advances many of the causes dear to the left: redistribution of wealth, higher taxes, greater government intervention, regulation.” Heartland’s Bast puts it even more bluntly: For the left, “Climate change is the perfect thing…It’s the reason why we should do everything [the left] wanted to do anyway.”
Here’s my inconvenient truth: they aren’t wrong. Before I go any further, let me be absolutely clear: as 97 percent of the world’s climate scientists attest, the Heartlanders are completely wrong about the science. The heat-trapping gases released into the atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels are already causing temperatures to increase. If we are not on a radically different energy path by the end of this decade, we are in for a world of pain.
But when it comes to the real-world consequences of those scientific findings, specifically the kind of deep changes required not just to our energy consumption but to the underlying logic of our economic system, the crowd gathered at the Marriott Hotel may be in considerably less denial than a lot of professional environmentalists, the ones who paint a picture of global warming Armageddon, then assure us that we can avert catastrophe by buying “green” products and creating clever markets in pollution.
. . . The expansionist, extractive mindset, which has so long governed our relationship to nature, is what the climate crisis calls into question so fundamentally. The abundance of scientific research showing we have pushed nature beyond its limits does not just demand green products and market-based solutions; it demands a new civilizational paradigm, one grounded not in dominance over nature but in respect for natural cycles of renewal—and acutely sensitive to natural limits, including the limits of human intelligence.
So in a way, Chris Horner was right when he told his fellow Heartlanders that climate change isn’t “the issue.” In fact, it isn’t an issue at all. Climate change is a message, one that is telling us that many of our culture’s most cherished ideas are no longer viable.
. . . the reality is that Soviet-era state socialism was a disaster for the climate. It devoured resources with as much enthusiasm as capitalism, and spewed waste just as recklessly: before the fall of the Berlin Wall, Czechs and Russians had even higher carbon footprints per capita than their counterparts in Britain, Canada and Australia. And while some point to the dizzying expansion of China’s renewable energy programs to argue that only centrally controlled regimes can get the green job done, China’s command-and-control economy continues to be harnessed to wage an all-out war with nature, through massively disruptive mega-dams, superhighways and extraction-based energy projects, particularly coal.
It is true that responding to the climate threat requires strong government action at all levels. But real climate solutions are ones that steer these interventions to systematically disperse and devolve power and control to the community level, whether through community-controlled renewable energy, local organic agriculture or transit systems genuinely accountable to their users.
Here is where the Heartlanders have good reason to be afraid: arriving at these new systems is going to require shredding the free-market ideology that has dominated the global economy for more than three decades. What follows is a quick-and-dirty look at what a serious climate agenda would mean in the following six arenas: public infrastructure, economic planning, corporate regulation, international trade, consumption and taxation. For hard-right ideologues like those gathered at the Heartland conference, the results are nothing short of intellectually cataclysmic.
( i especially urge you to read these six in the original . . . 1. Reviving & Reinventing the Public Sphere, 2. Remembering How to Plan, 3. Reining in Corporations, 4. Relocalizing Production, 5. Ending the Cult of Shopping, 6. Taxing the Rich & Filthy )
. . . Shifting cultural values is, admittedly, a tall order. It calls for the kind of ambitious vision that movements used to fight for a century ago, before everything was broken into single “issues” to be tackled by the appropriate sector of business-minded NGOs. Climate change is, in the words of the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, “the greatest example of market failure we have ever seen.” By all rights, this reality should be filling progressive sails with conviction, breathing new life and urgency into longstanding fights against everything from free trade to financial speculation to industrial agriculture to third-world debt, while elegantly weaving all these struggles into a coherent narrative about how to protect life on earth.
But that isn’t happening, at least not so far. It is a painful irony that while the Heartlanders are busily calling climate change a left-wing plot, most leftists have yet to realize that climate science has handed them the most powerful argument against capitalism since William Blake’s “dark Satanic Mills” (and, of course, those mills were the beginning of climate change). When demonstrators are cursing out the corruption of their governments and corporate elites in Athens, Madrid, Cairo, Madison and New York, climate change is often little more than a footnote, when it should be the coup de grâce.
Half of the problem is that progressives—their hands full with soaring unemployment and multiple wars—tend to assume that the big green groups have the climate issue covered. The other half is that many of those big green groups have avoided, with phobic precision, any serious debate on the blindingly obvious roots of the climate crisis: globalization, deregulation and contemporary capitalism’s quest for perpetual growth (the same forces that are responsible for the destruction of the rest of the economy). The result is that those taking on the failures of capitalism and those fighting for climate action remain two solitudes, with the small but valiant climate justice movement—drawing the connections between racism, inequality and environmental vulnerability—stringing up a few swaying bridges between them.
Naomi Klein is an award-winning journalist and syndicated columnist and the author of the international and New York Times bestseller The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism (September 2007); an earlier international best-seller, No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies; and the collection Fences and Windows: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Globalization Debate (2002). Read more atNaomiklein.org. You can follow her on Twitter @naomiaklein.
October 22, 2011 § Leave a Comment